“Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness, no one will see the Lord.”
– Hebrews 12:14 [NIV]
Our goal as Christians is to be at peace with people, even those who’ve done us wrong. Sometimes it’s easier to turn the other cheek, but often our flesh tells us to clap back when we’re being disrespected. I’m no different than anyone else when it comes to the principal, sometimes, I ignore people who say anything mean to me, but I also had some moments where I fought back. I’m human, so I’m no different than anyone else who has been bullied or disrespected.
We want to make peace with our enemies because we don’t want to harbor unforgiveness in our hearts. One of the worst things we can have is a grudge against someone. A grudge is where you have a record of someone else’s wrongdoing towards you. Jesus could’ve held a grudge against Peter, but he decided to move on from it and pretend it never happened. If Jesus can forgive us at our worst, then we should be able to forgive those people who hurt us.
When you hate someone, it will start to affect how you treat others. I watched a Youtube video of a guy talking about how damaged his relationship with his mom has been since she stole money from him. He tried helping her get on her feet, but she took advantage of him and later found out she was a drug addict. To this day, he still harbors resentment toward his mother. Watching him express his feelings toward his mom on camera was hard to watch. I thought I would never want to get so angry at someone to the point where I started lashing out at people who did nothing wrong to me.
As I stated earlier, there were points in my life where I didn’t take the high road and started lashing out at people who did me wrong. A few days ago, I was on a Discord server about transit. I was a big fan of the youtube channel the server was based on, and I thought I would get a warm reception, but things went south pretty quickly once I started talking about regional differences and questions about people’s train experience. I was bullied and cursed out every time I posted anything. To make a long story short, I was kicked after a few days of being on there, but I didn’t let it end there. I told one of my friends from TikTok to troll them, and they were so offended. It felt good at first, but then I thought, “was it really worth it”? After talking to a friend about it, I thought maybe I had gone too far. The person who corrected me about it was an atheist, by the way. I’m usually not a petty person, but that behavior is off-putting to an unbeliever who’s being sold the gospel. After that conversation, I repented, and with some of the members of that transit server, I was still on good terms. I say that to say I’m not perfect, but like all of you I strive to better myself.